Women and men who have loose abdominal skin and fat that is concentrated in the abdomen can benefit from abdominoplasty. Sometimes these conditions are inherited. In other instances, substantial weight loss may cause abdominal skin to become flaccid. Abdominoplasty also can tighten muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy. The procedure may somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel.
How Abdominoplasty Is Performed
Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to smooth and flatten your abdomen.
Where are the incisions placed?
Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. If there is loose skin above the navel, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel. Skin in the shaded area is separated from the abdominal wall.
Some patients have loose skin above the navel. In such cases, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel so that the redundant skin above it can be pulled down. The excess abdominal skin is then removed. The position of the navel remains unchanged.
To tighten the abdominal wall, the surgeon brings loose underlying tissue and muscle together with sutures.
Skin of the lower abdomen that contains stretch marks may be removed as well. Any remaining stretch marks may be somewhat flattened and improved, but you should not expect a dramatic change in their appearance.
Abdominal skin is pulled downward, and the excess is removed. A small opening is made to bring the navel through.
The procedure may include tightening of the underlying abdominal muscles using sutures.